Intervention by the Workers

Intervention by the Workers’ Party of Ireland,

The social structure of the student population in capitalist countries clearly demonstrates that ability and knowledge alone do not guarantee access to higher education. The working class which creates the wealth of society constitutes a disproportionately low participation rate in higher education. Education remains for many a privilege not a right. It is also clear that the capitalist class sees the primary purpose of education as providing vocational training to meet its insatiable quest for profit. Increasingly, narrowly specialised training deprives students of the tools to critically evaluate the society in which they live, deprives them of diversity and knowledge is provided to the extent that it can be converted into profit.  Education is used by the capitalist class to attack independent analysis, to suppress ideological dissent, to dominate the minds of the young and to maintain and consolidate the power of the capitalist class.

Universities and institutions of higher education present themselves as independent, ideologically neutral and above class differences and concerns.  They claim to be the guarantors of free thought, democratic freedoms and a system of learning open to all. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality of higher education is a system based on the values of elitism and exclusion and an unswerving commitment to the values of the market. Class inequality and social exclusion is even more rampant than 30 years ago. Courses are frequently validated by professional bodies and associations committed to the maintenance of the capitalist system. Student intake is controlled. Higher education is organised on strict commercial principles while the institutions themselves are increasingly corporatized. There is an unmistakable move towards privatisation and an open commitment in express ideological terms to neo-liberal principles and values.

Of course, anti-communism has always pervaded education in the capitalist countries. While at times many individual teachers and students espoused progressive socialist principles those in control demonstrated their commitment to the maintenance of capitalism as a system and their hostility to the ideas and principles of socialism. Throughout the “Cold War” students were taught that the Soviet Union and the socialist states were aggressive and threatening when in fact those states were openly and wholeheartedly committed to peace, friendship and peaceful co-existence. The portrayal of developing countries was frequently clichéd, racist and colonialist. The military of the capitalist world together with their intelligence services had open access to schools and universities to poison and pollute the minds of the young. If the brief window of hope provided by progressive teachers in the sixties and seventies allowed Marxism-Leninism to temporarily flourish in higher education that window was soon slammed shut.  There is now an implacable hostility to socialist principles and Marxist concepts of history and society. 

This hostility has been recently manifested in the vicious anti-communist campaign being waged across Europe. There is a concerted and relentless campaign to distort and falsify history by vilifying those who fought for the destruction of Nazism and fascism and to absolve fascism and its collaborators from the terror and destruction they visited upon the world. The rise in neo-Nazism, the flurry of anti-Soviet literature, the rehabilitation of Nazi war criminals, the attempt to cover up the role of countries and prominent individuals that actively assisted the Nazis in acts of mass murder while simultaneously calling for criminal investigations into those brave liberators who fought against fascism  is a perversion of history.

The Soviet Union played a decisive role in the defeat of fascism, Nazism and Japanese imperialism. In 1945 fascism was defeated in Europe. The Soviet Union, the Red Army and the communist partisans and resistance fighters of Europe were instrumental in securing that defeat. The battle of Stalingrad, which lasted 200 days and nights, represented a major defeat for the Nazis. The Nazi counter-attack at Kursk was broken and further heavy losses were inflicted on the fascist forces. Subsequent to the defeat at Kursk the Nazis failed to mount another major offensive and the Red Army advanced, step by step, to Berlin. Peace had come to Europe – but at great cost. Fascist aggression had been defeated and the Soviet Union played the decisive role in that struggle and sustained the biggest losses. The Red Army, under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, was instrumental in that achievement.

We must not permit these achievements to be forgotten. It is not simply a matter of history. It is a question of ideology and class struggle. The capitalist  class, in the throes of a crisis, wishes to attack and attempts to tarnish those forces which are best placed to lead the ideological offensive against it. It is the Communist and Workers’ Parties of Europe which will provide the leadership in the anti-capitalist struggle. Marxism-Leninism is a class based analysis of the global capitalist system. It provides a vision of solidarity, peace, justice, freedom and equality at a time of misery, inequality, injustice, class exploitation, poverty and war which are the inevitable consequences of capitalism and imperialism. This is the reason for this anti-communist campaign.

The attempt to equate communism with fascism and to conceal the class nature of Nazism-fascism; the anti-democratic operation to suppress the Czech Communist Youth Union (KSM); the current attacks on the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia; the attempts across Europe to ban communist and workers’ parties together with their monuments and symbols of struggle - these represent a concerted effort to persecute those who dare to make a stand against imperialism and capitalism.    

Ireland has not escaped this anti-communist crusade. There have been recent attempts to undermine and distort the historic struggle for socialism in Ireland.  The US government persists with its attempts to extradite Comrade Sean Garland, a member of the WPI Central Executive Committee, from Ireland to the US on fabricated charges as part of a US attack on Comrade Garland, the Workers’ party of Ireland and the DPRK. The date for the court hearing is drawing near and a strong campaign is underway to resist the extradition of our comrade. We ask the Communist and Workers’ Parties to continue to express solidarity with the WPI and to condemn the US actions against Comrade Garland.

The Workers' Party of Ireland wishes to convey its solidarity and support to the Communist and Workers’ Parties who are suffering these assaults at the hands of the imperialists and their collaborators. The WPI demands the immediate withdrawal of all measures against communists and an end to all threats and anti-democratic restrictions on communist and workers’ parties throughout Europe and the world.

The Central Executive Committee of the Workers' Party of Ireland wishes to thank the KKE for its work in organising this meeting, sends warm comradely greetings to the participants and looks forward to the opportunity to strengthen our struggle against anti-communism and all its manifestations.

G. Grainger

International Secretary and Member of the Central Executive Committee

Workers’ Party of Ireland